We could not be more thrilled with how this annual community event has helped us accomplish our mission of supporting active, healthy lifestyles to enhance the quality of life in the Grand Cities. The marathon weekend would not be possible without the hard work and dedication from the countless volunteers, coordinators, participants, and community members.
One particularly incredible addition to the race over the past few years is our Medical Director, Dr. Billy Haug, and his team of medical volunteers – they truly are life-savers! In addition to the medical side, this community event has meant a lot to Dr. Haug and his son, Sam, who also have participated in the Friday Family Fun Run for the past 2 years.
Dr. Billy Haug and his 9-year-old son, Sam, have been participants of the race weekend in addition to his role as the event Medical Director. Sam has Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), and loves running in the Family Fun Run and being in the electrifying atmosphere that race weekends cultivate!
Being active has always been an important part of Dr. Haug and his family’s lives, and the Grand Forks Marathon has been an excellent way for all of them to be involved in a community event that encourages healthy, active lifestyles. While life can sometimes be challenging, Dr. Haug reflects, “everyone has abilities that are unique to them, and we can rise to the occasion in life no matter who we are or what diagnosis we may carry.”
Friday, you can find Sam participating in the Family Fun Run and catch Dr. Billy Haug and his 11-year-old daughter, Sophie, running the 5K! Whether you’re running out on the course or cheering from the sidelines, get out and show them your support!
After Dr. Haug is busy running out on the course Friday evening, he will shift gears early Saturday as the race Medical Director. Billy Haug, MD – a primary care sports medicine doctor at Altru – and his team of medical volunteers will be out on Saturday making sure the course is as safe as possible for all runners. This includes ensuring the course route is free of debris and traffic, planning according to weather conditions, and being prepared for medical evaluations throughout the course should any runners need assistance, not to mention plenty of coordination to bring it all together.
“I want to ensure that every runner has the best experience they possibly can have because whether you’re running marathons, half marathons, 5Ks, 10Ks, it doesn’t matter – people look at these as stepping stones, building blocks, or a major life event, so anything we can do to help them reach their goals in a safe manor is what we really aim to do.“ said Dr. Haug.
An enormous ‘thank you’ to Dr. Haug and a special shout out to the many volunteers that come from the University of North Dakota and Northland Community and Technical College medical programs, as well as Altru employees for helping to make sure we’re all kept safe on race day!